Funeral home plans for old Dahlsens site

LESTER & Son Funeral Directors will transform the former Dahlsens site in central Wodonga into a $2.5 million funeral home.

The Thomas Mitchell Drive development will include the largest funeral chapel in the twin cities with seating for up to 150 people when it is finished.

Local company Premier Building & Construction has started clearing the 650-square metre site ahead of an anticipated six-month construction period.

The Dahlsens hardware store in Wodonga shut in July last year when the company consolidated its presence locally at the Albury airport estate.

Lester & Son has had a presence in Wodonga in Hume Street since 2012 when the Conway Funeral Home was purchased by the Brindley Group following the retirement of Tony and Monica Conway.

The new funeral home will also have access from Brockley Street.

It will be managed by co-owner Andrew Harbick with additional staff to be employed.

His wife Pauline and other business partners Darren and Julie Eddy will remain at existing premises at the corner of Wantigong and Mate streets, North Albury.

“The funeral home will allow Lester & Son to offer the families of Wodonga and surrounding communities the high level of funeral service and personalised options we proudly provide now from our Albury funeral home,” Mr Harbick said.

“It will enable families to arrange funeral services in discreet, private surroundings and then, if desired, have the service take place in the largest funeral chapel in Albury-Wodonga offering after-service catering within the funeral home.”

Mr Eddy is president of the Australian Funeral Directors Association.

“The growing demand for quality funeral services in the area and the forecast growth of 40.2 per cent for people in Wodonga reaching retirement age between 2011 and 2021 has encouraged Lester & Son to expand,” Mr Harbick said.